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Tom Hanks, in Conversation with Jon Raymond (REBROADCAST)

Legendary actor Tom Hanks shares his debut novel, as well as anecdotes from his storied career, in this conversation with screenwriter Jon Raymond.

In this episode of The Archive Project, we feature legendary actor, filmmaker, and writer, Tom Hanks. Hanks was joined on stage at the Keller auditorium in May 2023 by fiction and screenwriter Jon Raymond.

What’s great about this conversation is that the through line involves Tom Hanks’s longtime make-up artist Danny Stripeke; because in many ways it reveals why Hanks is such an incredible storyteller and a magnetic personality. In the spring of 2023, Hanks had published his second work of fiction and his first novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. It isn’t a novel about how to make films, nor one about the celebrities who act in them. It’s about the hundreds of people you never see on screen, but are the ones who actually make the film: the gaffers, and electricians, the producers and directors, the prop crew, and yes the make-up artists.

In this conversation, Hanks talks about his childhood and the long journey of his career, one in which he has been actor, producer, director and writer. With humor and reverence, he retells the stories of the incredible cast of characters he has met along the way, while also talking about the chaos and absurdity of shooting a film and the surprises in the process, both thrilling and sometimes disappointing, that come with the massive, collaborative undertaking of making cinema.

Tom Hanks has won Academy Awards for best actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. He has starred in, among many other films, Big, Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, Captain Phillips, Bridge of SpiesSully, Toy Story, The Post, and It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. He is also the author of a best-selling collection of stories, Uncommon Type.

Jon Raymond is the author of the novels The Half-LifeRain Dragon, and Freebird, and the story collection Livability, winner of the Oregon Book Award. He has collaborated on six films with the director Kelly Reichardt, including Old JoyWendy and LucyMeek’s CutoffNight MovesFirst Cow, and the forthcoming Showing Up, numerous of which have been based on his fiction. He also received an Emmy Award nomination for his screenwriting on the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce directed by Todd Haynes and starring Kate Winslet. He was the editor of Plazm Magazine, associate and contributing editor at Tin House magazine, and a member of the Board of Directors at Literary Arts. His writing has appeared in ZoetropePlayboyTin HouseThe Village VoiceArtforumBookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.